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OCT 8, 2015

NR # 3981

Passage of Indigents Pre-Employment Privilege Act of 2015 sought

The House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, chaired by Rep. Salvio B. Fortuno,
has approved and endorsed plenary passage of the proposed Indigents Pre-Employment
Privilege Act of 2015 under HB 5717.
HB 5717, principally authored by Rep. Rolando G. Andaya, Jr. (1 st District,
Camarines Sur), is entitled An Act providing pre-employment privilege to indigents by
granting discount on fees in securing pre-employment certifications and clearances from
government agencies.
Approved by Hon. Fortunos panel in mid-August, Andaya stressed that increasing
employment opportunities and labor productivity are measures that will surely reduce the
brunt of economic inequality on indigent Filipinos.
The sad truth, however, is that we lack employment opportunities, Andaya
pointed out.
An even when prospects for employment are present, most Filipinos cannot afford
to pay for fees necessary to procure documentary requirements for their job application
such as birth and marriage certificates, barangay certificate, and NBI and police
clearances, among others, he added.
Under HB 5717, an indigent job applicant shall be entitled to a twenty percent
(20%) discount on fees charged by government agencies in processing the following
documents: a) Barangay Clearance; b) Clearance from the National Bureau of
Investigation; c) Clearance from the Regional Philippine National Police Office where the
indigent applicant resides; d) Medical certificate from the Department of Health; e)
Certificates of Marriage and/or birth from the National Statistics Office or the local Civil
Registry (LCR); and f) Certificate of Birth of the indigent applicants one (1) dependent
from the NSO or LCR.
The least that the government can do for indigent job applicants, he said, is to make
it easier for them to acquire pre-employment documents by way of discounts.
Reducing the processing fee of these documents encourages them to look for jobs
in order to become productive members of society, Andaya stressed, adding that the
measure seeks to lessen the financial burden of indigent Filipino job seekers.
The proposed law also provides that any person, government entity, agency or
hospital who refuses or fails to provide the benefits granted to the indigent in violation of
this Act shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not

more than one (1) year or a fine of not less than ten thousand pesos (P10,000) but not
more than fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) or both, at the discretion of the court.
Likewise, any person who misinterprets his/her status or falsifies any document to
avail of benefits provided under this Act or any person who abuses the privilege granted
herein shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more
than one (1) year or a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (5,000) but not more than
ten thousand pesos (P10,000) or both, at the discretion of the court.
Furthermore, any government agency, instrumentality or local government unit that
violated any provision of this Act shall be held administratively liable by the DSWD,
which may recommend sanctions to the Civil Service Commission or the Department of
Interior and Local Government against the head of the agency or the local chief executive
and the person directly responsible for the violation.
The measure also establishes an inter-agency coordinating and monitoring
committee which shall coordinate and monitor the implementation of the proposed statute.
The said committee shall be composed of the Secretary of the DSWD as
Chairperson with the Chairperson of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) as
Vice-Chairperson, with the following as members: The Secretaries of the DOH; DILG;
DoJ and the Administrator of the NSO or their respective representatives.
The Committee shall submit a regular report to Congress on the implementation of
this Act every three (3) years following its effectivity. (30) dpt